It’s that time of the year again when kits are being released thick and fast, with many supporters eagerly awaiting the latest drop of the 2020/21 Premier League kits. It’s a time where many on social media will start championing many of the great kits that we’ve had down the years; think Newcastle’s home kit in ‘95, City’s beautiful away strip from the ‘93 season or even Arsenal’s ‘bruised banana’ away kit in ‘91.
You cannot deny that the English top-tier has been home to some of the best football kits ever, and certainly home to some of the most iconic. However, while many endlessly debate and argue over what happens to be the best kit of them all, there aren’t as many discussing some of the horror shows which have been on our screens down the years.
This is where we come in. We’ve decided to take a look at every single Premier League club and nominate their worst kits of all-time. So, strap yourselves in, grab yourself a brew, and prepare to be mortified. Warning: this article may contain kits which some fans might find distressing.
Arsenal 2009-10 Third Kit
Let’s go in alphabetical order and start with Arsenal. We sang Arsenal’s praises for their away kit from ‘91 in the intro, but don’t let a few good kits distract you from the fact that some of their shirts have been far from pretty.
There have been a few bad ones, but the third kit of ‘09 is our nomination. Pinstripes have the potential to work, but what on earth has gone on here? Perhaps the local bowling team and Arsenal got their packages the wrong way around and they just stuck with it. Thankfully they didn’t have to wear it much, being a third kit and all.
Aston Villa 2001-02 Away Kit
Despite being in a relegation dogfight this season and spending the three seasons prior in the Football League, they are one of England’s greatest clubs and one of only five from this country to ever lift the European Cup.
In fact, in the all-time table of top-tier football in England, they also sit fifth, so it’s fair to say we’ve got a fair few kits to consider. Nevertheless, cast your minds back to 2001/02 when John Gregory and Graham Taylor were able to achieve a respectable eighth-place finish for the Villans.
Not bad, but you have to feel for the away following which had to support the club while playing in their dour and gloomy grey away kit. Not only is the colour appalling, but the design of the shirt with the black panels and the style of the collar just makes it unwearable.
Brighton 2004-06 Home Kit
While this kit is far from the most extravagant kit the Seagulls have had in their history, it is still a big shocker in our eyes. It’s a bad idea executed appallingly – and that’s why it’s made our list. If having Errea as your kit makers and Skint as your shirt sponsor isn’t bad enough, why not try and change the colour of your kit at the same time.
The Argentina-style colours just do not work considering they are on the South Coast playing at the Withdean in the Championship rather than in South America in Buenos Aires. This could have softened the blow for Albion fans though, considering they probably couldn’t tell the colour of their kit while overlooking the athletics track.
Burnley 1996-98 Home Kit
Burnley’s kit is one which is hard to get wrong because it rarely varies. Claret is normally the colour of the front of the shirt, while light blue is usually the colour of the sleeves. Every so often, though, there is a break of the cycle. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Between the years of 1996 and 1998, it very much didn’t. Quartered football shirts loved a show in the 90s and Burnley FC joined that trend in ‘96 with Adidas as the shirt manufacturer.
Despite having such a respected brand designing the shirts, their attempt of quartering the two colours went down like a led balloon, resulting in many of their supporters voting it as their worst kit of all time, as per LancsLive. Apart from the obvious colour clashes and ugly Endsleigh sponsor, it just looks awful and so outdated.
Managed by Adrian Heath and Chris Waddle at the time, the performances on the pitch weren’t much better either, with the shirt featuring in two seasons in the Championship, only just surviving the drop in the latter of the two campaigns.
Chelsea 1979-80 Away Kit
Chelsea is a club who have had some beauties down the years, but also a side who are partial to a shocker of an away kit. 1970s football kits weren’t the most exciting, but Chelsea tried to shake it up in ‘79 while playing in the English second division.
That year they decided to replicate Brazil’s yellow and gold kit for their away one and it isn’t a particularly good look. Just imagine a bad Norwich kit and you’re there. It’s not the design which makes it the worst though, it’s the audacity to replicate the legendary Brazil kit.
The green shorts look atrocious when you compare it to some of the yellow kits in the past which have blue shorts. Really ugly and a poor version of the five-time World Cup champions. Next.
Crystal Palace 2006-07 Away Kit
Again, Crystal Palace are a club which is often associated with a lot of colour and creative designs, but our selection for their worst kit of all time is everything but.
The club often goes for sashes and a more extravagant kind of shirt, but when they were back in the Championship in 2006/07, Diadora came out with a kit unprecedented for the Eagles: grey on grey. A charcoal grey is accompanied by a lighter grey with some weird blend across the torso.
It’s an ugly kit in any case, but considering Palace usually have such exciting kits, this was a severe disappointment. Funnily enough, never they tried it again.
Everton 1996-97 Away Kit
With so many exuberant kits in the 90s, many looked original and brilliant, while others looked tacky and awful. Unfortunately for fans at Everton, their black and yellow striped away kit of 1996/97 was an absolute shocker.
The kit featured a pretty rogue blue stripe across the chest part of the shirt, which really makes it look strange. Without those weird blue bits going across it, it probably isn’t the worst they’ve had, but it makes it lose all of its symmetry and the blue blends so badly.
The ugly kit was mirrored by ugly scenes on the pitch. Joe Royle ended up getting the sack and the club could only muster a 15th place finish.
Fulham 2010-11 Third Kit
Fulham have had plenty of atrocious attires in the past, but there is no escaping the fact that their third kit in the 2010/11 season is arguably one of the most hideous designs on the list. It was the Cottagers’ tenth consecutive season in the top flight and surely the designers could have come up with a design that was a bit more glamorous.
Going for an olive-green colour, complete with a gold trim, this strip resembles something straight out of a swamp. Inspired by the same colours as Mohammed Al Fayed’s former store Harrods, the kit ended up looking like it had got stuck in the wash once too often.
Thankfully Fulham made amends on the pitch, as Clint Dempsey scored 13 goals in all competitions, and the club finished eighth in the table.
Leeds United 1992-93 Away Kit
The defending champions of the old First Division were fit and raring to go in the inaugural Premier League season. We’re always open to a crazy ‘90s kits with mad designs but this is just too much.
Made by Admiral, this kit had the potential to be great, although it all went horribly wrong. The shirt looks like it belongs on the beach or at Glastonbury, not on a football pitch.
Perhaps that’s why Leeds didn’t do so well in the end? They came close to becoming only the second team to be relegated from the top flight a season after lifting the trophy but managed to clinch safety with a few games to spare.
Leicester City 2014-15 Away Kit
Neon gold is not a colour which we often associate with football shirts and there’s a big reason for that – it doesn’t usually look good. Don’t get me wrong, United’s 2001/02 away kit managed to pull it off somewhat, but the Foxes’ attempt in with their third kit in 2014/15 was poor.
The gold isn’t overpowering enough and it just looks like a horrible clash with the black. Nevertheless, at least that meant they ditched it in time for them to win the league, where the kit was much improved.
With the club mainly wearing the red away strip that season, it’s not a surprise to find out that this wasn’t used very much. You can understand why.
Liverpool 2013-14 Away Kit
Not only is this shirt arguably the ugliest on the list, but it holds so many painful memories as well. It’s hard to see exactly what Liverpool saw in this Warrior designed kit, but somehow it got the go-ahead, with its final ever game being a thriller against Crystal Palace, dubbed ‘Crystanbul’, where they blew their 3-0 lead to practically hand Manchester City the title.
The red, black and grey pattern on the white shirt just looks so unnecessary and unprofessional. It’s remarkable to think they thought this ever looked good. It’s hard to tell exactly what is likeable about that pattern, especially with the colours being particularly bland.
Manchester City 1996-97 Away Kit
What a lovely list of horrible kits. Manchester City have had some awfully ugly kits in the past and it’s actually a bit of a struggle actually pick our favourite, but we’ve managed to find one.
Given that their grey away kit from the early 2000s is so similar to Villa’s, the award has gone to their away kit of ‘96. Looking like it belongs on the Rugby League field, this maroon and white concoction could not look more dated if it tried.
They were in the second-tier at the time, and with Alan Ball, Steve Coppell and Frank Clark all managing the club that season, they finished in a disappointing 15th place in the second-tier.
Manchester United 2009-10 Home Kit
It’s quite hard to get Manchester United’s home kit wrong, really, but this kit is so ugly that it just had to top it for us. Go back a decade and Manchester United had just had their Premier League winning streak come to an end with Chelsea regaining the title.
To make it worse they had to watch their club play in Nike’s template kit for that season, the red shirt with a black chevron, which just looks so cheap and also identical to Everton’s kit. There’s just no need for it.
Plus the black clashes particularly badly – they would be better off with white so it matched with the shorts.
Newcastle United 2015-16 Home Kit
Newcastle have had some great strips in the past, with all of their noughties Adidas kits looking particularly smart. Unfortunately, it all went downhill as soon as Puma took over the manufacturing duties. That, coupled with the loan shark addition of Wonga as the shirt sponsor, and you’ve got yourself a pretty rank kit.
The worst though is an easy choice. There’s just too much blue in the 2015/16 home kit; for some reason they’ve added blue stripes within the black stripes, which is just a horrible design as well as a terrible clash of colours.
Sheffield United 2015-16 Home Kit
Back in the 2015/16 season, the Blades could only achieve an 11th placed finish in League One. If that wasn’t bad enough, the home kit only had red pinstripes and their old badge to celebrate their 125th year anniversary.
It’s not a good look for the club – it just looks weird for a whole season. The away kit also doesn’t follow suit and has the current badge as well as a neon green kit, making it inconsistent.
Everyone knows Sheffield United as red and white stripes, so while you can appreciate a slight change for the anniversary, it just seemed a bit too ambitious.
Southampton 2013-14 Home Kit
It’s a shame because they ended up finishing eighth, but Adidas and Southampton rolled out a strange kit in the 13/14 season, with it having no white stripes whatsoever.
While objectively the kit actually looks okay, it is just so wrong to remove the stripes from a Southampton kit, especially to have something so recognised and bland. The strip looks so generic that it totally wasn’t worth replacing the stripes for it.
It was telling that the club decided to go back to full stripes the season afterwards, even with the full stripes being taken out for a second season in a row.
Tottenham Hotspur 2018-19 Third Kit
Spurs generally have had some pretty consistent kits, with their home plain white being one quite hard to mess up. There have been a few dodgy away kits, but none beat the 18/19 third kit.
It’s a hard one because this shirt will rightly be famous for featuring in one of the most remarkable games in Champions League history. Spurs wore this shirt as they overcame Ajax with three second-half goals to reach the Champions League final, but that does not mean it is not a terrible kit.
The kit outlines a map of North London with green at the top of the kit, however, you wouldn’t be able to tell that from just looking at it as the definitions are very hard to work out. These just leave a mess on what is just turquoise and blue kit, making it pretty hard to look at.
West Brom 2014-15 Home Kit
Former Stoke and Palace boss Tony Pulis saved the Baggies from relegation during the 2014/15 season but nothing can wash away the memory of the horrific home kit.
For whatever reason West Brom decided to ditch the famous white on blue stripes for a primarily white background and this horrendously backfired.
The strip is one of the worst we have ever seen and we are definitely not a fan.
West Ham United 2008-09 Home Kit
It’s back to 2008/09 for the worst West Ham United kit. This Umbro made kit is a catastrophe of a design with an awful looking sponsor to boot. Firstly, the whole thing is just off centre.
The Umbro and West Ham badges are so far away from the centre of the shirt it just looks ridiculous. To make things worse, the big square blue SBOBET sponsor takes up the main centre of the shirt, meaning that a big portion of the shirt is covered by a big blue square, looking dreadful.
It wasn’t a great season for the Hammers in the Premier League that season, either. But they just ended up staying up under Gianfranco Zola, finishing 17th.
Wolverhampton Wanderers 1965-66 Home Kit
Wolves are famous for their black and gold kits and they have been of that variety since 1891. Throughout that time, they’ve only had gold shorts for a spell during the 60s, which also coincides with their worst kit.
There’s something that looks really wrong when taking out the black from the gold and it just doesn’t look like the same team. Also, the gold is slightly too light for our liking on this one. For these reasons, the Wolves kit of ‘65 is considered at the very bottom of the pile.
Do you agree with our selection, or can you think of any other kits that were both beautiful and horrible to look at? Let us know in the comments!